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Thread: Willow Creek

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    Default Willow Creek

    Just got back from willow creek, fished down at the mouth. Trout are there but its hit and miss, not many in there biting yet. Water is still pretty cold and rising. Tried beads, esl, dali lamas, zonkers etc...came up skunked. My girl caught 2 on a deep clouser on a spin rod.

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraig View Post
    Just got back from willow creek, fished down at the mouth. Trout are there but its hit and miss, not many in there biting yet. Water is still pretty cold and rising. Tried beads, esl, dali lamas, zonkers etc...came up skunked. My girl caught 2 on a deep clouser on a spin rod.
    How many flies did you lose?
    Willow has a LOT of crap in it.. and that's where the big 'bows are hanging out. With the water cold they aren't moving to hit, you have to put it in front of their face. Means losing a lot of flies, but also means catching more and bigger fish.

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    Also, watch out for the only tree anywhere remotely near your back cast. I feel like I spend all my time climbing trees while icb catches fish.

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    lol spent a good amount of time fishing my flies out of the brush from my sloppy back cast. ICB we didnt really fish anywhere but right at the mouth next to the camp ground. We hiked up a little ways but i brought my gf and she was a rookie and i didnt really feel comfortable having her wade through the deep water to hike up higher but we did hike up around that first log jam but didnt see anything. the only fish we saw being caught were right at the mouth. couple guys actually waded acroosd and around and didnt get anything either but i did make it home with all my tackle. it was my first time there ever. Next time im gonna do some more exploring. do the guides or anybody ever cut out the dead fall from the winter to make floating easier?

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    you would think the fish would have started moving up stream to start the spawn, so far this spring I have only seen 2 fish in spawn colors. Not to mention the water is going up every time I get out there.

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    maybe because of the massive amounts of snow and the spawn will be late this year. gonna give it a few weeks and hit it up again.

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Usually the first few groups floating through cut sweepers and cut slots in the jams. The rest is up to the guy on the sticks to make the gap.
    Up to 14' is pretty simple, nothing major, Willow is actually pretty big, and a pretty easy float. 16' cat is doable at higher water levels. Only a couple hairy spots, theres one tight jam, that requires some fast oar work, or a walk around. And one tight-ish tunnel that is pretty narrow for a bigger boat, have to shoot it just right, otherwise you might bounce off the bank a couple times. 16' is the biggest I've personally taken down willow, and I'm a fairly novice oarsman.

    Theres plenty of fish moving upstream right now. Though I haven't seen any in spawn colors either. Yet.

    Some jerk ran it from the highway down in a jet boat the other day... Totally dirtied the water for all of us fishing. We ended up just leaving because he made it so nasty. Point is- if he made it down in the jet, I don't envision too many issues for floaters.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraig View Post
    do the guides or anybody ever cut out the dead fall from the winter to make floating easier?
    Last year there was a spruce tree from bank to bank that surprised us one day. I think it was a guided group ahead of us that cut the limbs off part of the tree and we just had to heave it over, instead of portaging. Sometimes I carry a saw and come-along, guess I should have taken it that day.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    Usually the first few groups floating through cut sweepers and cut slots in the jams. The rest is up to the guy on the sticks to make the gap.
    Up to 14' is pretty simple, nothing major, Willow is actually pretty big, and a pretty easy float. 16' cat is doable at higher water levels. Only a couple hairy spots, theres one tight jam, that requires some fast oar work, or a walk around. And one tight-ish tunnel that is pretty narrow for a bigger boat, have to shoot it just right, otherwise you might bounce off the bank a couple times. 16' is the biggest I've personally taken down willow, and I'm a fairly novice oarsman.

    Theres plenty of fish moving upstream right now. Though I haven't seen any in spawn colors either. Yet.

    Some jerk ran it from the highway down in a jet boat the other day... Totally dirtied the water for all of us fishing. We ended up just leaving because he made it so nasty. Point is- if he made it down in the jet, I don't envision too many issues for floaters.
    What makes the jet boat driver a jerk ? That water is open to power boats, yes ? Was his behavior out of line ? Curious why you made the statement .

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    What makes the jet boat driver a jerk ? That water is open to power boats, yes ? Was his behavior out of line ? Curious why you made the statement .
    Willow was a tad high, but crystal clear. Jet boat goes by, and suddenly it's chocolate milkshake. Went from great fishing to crappy fishing in one pass of a jet. Made it absolutely pointless to stay. Also, he went highway down to the mouth and immediately turned around and went back up. If you wanted to test your boat, there are better creeks/rivers with better access. If you wanted access to the mouth of willow, then why not put in at Deshka? They weren't fishing, just out for a boat ride. In all the time I've fished Willow I've seen maybe 7 powerboats. One was a Mokai, two were Airboats. The rest were all jets that came from the mouth up, but they were not NEARLY as far up as this jet.
    Was he breaking the law? No. He had every right to be there. Was he exceptionally ******y? No, he seemed like a nice enough guy, just out exploring. He obviously had never run Willow before, he asked us how far he had left to go. I'm just pissed he ruined the fishing for the rest of the day. Frustrates me.

    Willow isn't exactly the best candidate for motor boating. LOTs of people floating, wading, fishing, camping, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    Willow isn't exactly the best candidate for motor boating. LOTs of people floating, wading, fishing, camping, etc.
    I'm with you ICB12. Much worse is Little Willow however. I have nearly been run over several times by jets in my 8-footer. Made the long float completely worthless on several days from the chocolate milk. Running up, and down, up and down. Once you're floating it's not like you can just stop and walk out, ya know? I have also seen the aftermath of two power boat collisions on Little Willow while floating. I know everybody has a right to be on the water in their toy of choice, but geesh! Some of those jets i've seen on Little Willow are 22 footers! And I'm not talking about all the guys that choke the mouth either!

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    I'm with you guys, it should not be run in motor boats. My dad and I used to run it all the time in an air boat, and I can't tell you how many times shet happens because some one thinks they own the river. There is always some thing……….jerks standing in the middle of the river, drifters who can't get out the way fast enough, "deck" head boat operators that wake every one on the river. Just don't do it, not worth the pissing contest or worse.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    What makes the jet boat driver a jerk ? That water is open to power boats, yes ? Was his behavior out of line ? Curious why you made the statement .
    Was that you? Uh oh, this is awkward. Also, I don't understand what Ebay has to do with this.

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    I floated the will on the 13th. Highway to mouth. The log jam mid river is no longer passable to river left. The being said the river flow there has increased on the river right side so that slot is a little bigger. I am in a 14 round boat and had no issue. I thing a 16 would still be fine. Three trees spanned the entire river in different places. We were easially able to drag over. I may float again this week and and if I do I will bring my saw.

    Fishing was great but the catching was poor. One small trout on a purple ESL and one on a bead. Both were about 10 inches. we tossed smalt, dali's and the kitchen sink with no luck. The river was a little low, cold and stained.

    I learned to fish in oregon and we always used dry flies. The wet fly is still new to me so the lack of fish could have been operator error. After 4 years of hammering salmon on the fly, I really dont care to catch many more. I have decided to dedicate the summer to the quest for rainbows. Any tips would be welcome.

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    I fished all day on Sunday and got skunked. I threw everything possible at them and got a few strikes but nothing landed. Hopefully it picks up soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by borderblue1 View Post
    After 4 years of hammering salmon on the fly, I really dont care to catch many more. I have decided to dedicate the summer to the quest for rainbows. Any tips would be welcome.
    I was in the same boat a few years ago. I moved up and all I could think about was salmon. After awhile, I started to miss the solitude, the drifts, and saying "there's a fish there!" Though I love watching silvers torpedo for my fly, I've grown sick of flossing reds, and kings seem to show in fewer numbers each year. I fished mainly dries and nymphs in Utah, and learning to fish buggers, lamas, and ESLs was a change for me. Don't forget about your pheasant tails, hare's ears, or prince nymphs. They will often get you some fish when all else fails.

    It's been said before, but 'bows in Alaska have only six or so months to feed actively. The rest of the time they hunker down in some deep hole in a mostly frozen river, waiting in limbo for spring and the advent of thawing waters and the annual abundance of food. So, when they move upstream, they are typically quite aggressive. The caveat, however, is that the water early in the season is so cold, they aren't that willing to move much.

    Look for them in all the same places you would expect in Oregon rivers, but focus on where you think the big fish would be. Look at log jams, cut banks, and anywhere you're pretty dam sure you're gonna lose a fly. They hold deep in the nasty stuff until salmon move up and eggs and flesh become plentiful. Then, they will move into more vulnerable water to feed, being the gluttonous pigs they are. Until then, fish streamers and such as far into the gnarly, fishy, and snaggy areas as you dare. Strip 'em, swing ' em, drift 'em, or whatever until you hit fish. The idea is to bounce it right off their ugly faces. Don't be afraid to switch it up, either. You're not exactly matching the hatch anymore. You're really just trying to piss them off. You'll be surprised at what catches fish after fishing places like Oregon. It doesn't quite matter if it looks like an honest to god aquatic insect. My buddy hammered fish the other day on an ugly ass purple bugger. Purple! What the eff?!

    Use it until it works. If it doesn't work, use something else.
    Last edited by injun joe; 05-23-2012 at 00:43. Reason: Grammar

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by injun joe View Post
    My buddy hammered fish the other day on an ugly ass purple bugger. Purple! What the eff?!
    Purple is the new black. I just bought my girlfriend a little purple dress because of that bugger.


    It should be noted that the biggest fish that day came on a nymph. Hand tied with loving care and presented perfectly by our own Muzzyman himself.

    But the purple DID rock my world. Hence the dress.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Start wearing purple
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYE8Vjih2cs
    Love Gogol Bordello

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Waters rising. It has doubled in volume since last weekend. Currently 800 cfs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    Waters rising. It has doubled in volume since last weekend. Currently 800 cfs.
    awww where is the fun in that!

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